Malden is in negotiations to purchase land for a new east side fire station, according to Mayor Gary Christenson.
Christenson mentioned the negotiations during an . A reader had asked for an update on the station. The mayor declined to say what parcel the city was negotating to purchase.
“We are having our legal department review the purchase and sale agreement,” said Christenson.
When pressed, Christenson said the negotiations did not mean the purchase was imminent.
News comes almost a year after Maplewood station closed
The city has toyed with building a new east side fire station for decades, but the issue became a hot topic during a in April last year, after Fire Chief Michael Murphy . The closure came on the heels of a commissioned by former Councilor-At-Large and mayoral candidate Deborah Fallon.
The closure forced firefighters back into the Overlook station, which they share with Revere. That station was abandoned by Malden months earlier when several firefighters were laid off as part of a budget dispute.
While several city councilors supported Murphy’s decision to close the station, at least two—ward councilors Jim Nestor and Neil Kinnon—, saying the Maplewood’s leaking roof could be cheaply replaced, and that the station’s deteriorating conditions were due to a lack of maintenance, cleaning and care by firefighters.
Looking for a new site
Since that time, a fire station building committee has met occasionally to mull new sites for the station. A potential location floated in a public session was the Boston Steel site, though the property housed an operating tanker truck business was not listed for sale.
Other locations floated include the former and a parcel behind , which is housed in an old Esso station building at Salem Street and Broadway.
Depending on the size of the parcel purchased, the city may build a combined fire station and DPW center. That would allow the city to sell the , located on the Malden River and near new developments like the River’s Edge property. The idea of a multi-purpose building is not popular among firefighters.